During my time as WorldDMB President, I have seen many changes in a relatively short space of time. The most immediate changes for both myself and our members have been the changes seen in the Project Office, the hub of WorldDMB. Now that there is a full complement of staff, the Project Office are now able to continue with their valuable work, in collaboration with our members, of rolling out the DAB standards.
I look forward to continuing working with the Project Office over the next two years. My personal focus will be working with the Project Office to reinforce the DAB family of standards as the only viable, future proof option for the radio broadcasting industry and elevating the position of WorldDMB as the global network for digital radio professionals.
The nature of the industry we work in with all of its many different components can be prone to change in surprising ways. In 2010 we would have little idea that the German market would so effectively and cohesively work together to bring digital radio to one of the largest radio markets in Europe in such a short space of time. This combined with other good news stories such as, Norway announcing an FM switch off date, Hong Kong about to launch their own DAB+, DMB services and successful trials being run globally signifies 2011 has been a year of successes for the DAB family of standards.
The automotive sector has also seen growing momentum as it embraces digital radio as part of the consumer offering. A number of events were held for the automotive industry throughout 2011 and now the sector is coming fully on board. On 8 November in Munich, Germany, an event to mark the first 100 days of digital radio was held. It was significant in that it brought together the leading car manufacturers who unanimously agreed that digital radio had not only met but had exceeded expectations. They collectively agreed that increased focus would be placed on bringing digital radio to the driver.
While the automotive industry is focusing on standardising digital radio as part of the consumer offering, chip makers are focusing on ensuring more mobile devices are compatible with the DAB technologies. The last year has seen innumerable new receivers and devices from tablets, dongles, USB sticks for PCs, mobiles, in car receivers, adaptors and new designs for the standard kitchen radio. In 2012 we are anticipating the introduction of more exciting products to be launched to the international mass consumer market by some of the largest technology companies.
All these changes and developments are hugely positive for the DAB family of standards, for WorldDMB as an organisation and international digital radio proponents. However there is still much work to be done. As an industry, with so many components it is vital that we work together to go forward. Work needs to continue in increasing penetration of the DAB family of standards into more international markets and more devices. We must also ensure that the benefits of digital radio are made even more universally known to the key decision makers both nationally and at EU level.